A Smithtown food blogger is among those who braved Lifetime's new reality-TV series "5 Guys a Week," in which a quintet of men live in a woman's home while she winnows them down as romantic prospects over the course of seven days.
And since 25-year-old Sydney Austin currently lives with her parents, that meant the inevitable parental question: What, are you crazy?
"Yes," Austin says, laughing. "They said that! At first my mom was, like, 'There's no shot at your doing this — your father's going to have a conniption, we just had my house redone, are these going to be like "Jersey Shore" guys?' ” But eventually, she says, her parents came around: “It took a lot of convincing and them seeing the bigger picture that it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing to try out. They talked a lot to the producers to get comfortable with the people that would be here setting up the cameras. Pretty much they just didn't want their house damaged — so it wasn't even about my safety!"
The episode, which shot for a week in January and airs Wednesday at 10:03 p.m., finds Austin meeting Andrew, 33, a New York e-commerce operations manager; Andrey, 35, a marketing specialist from Hackensack, New Jersey; David, 24, a substitute teacher from Endwell, New York; Doug, 30, a Yonkers union carpenter; and Zach, 28, a systems technician from Tamaqua, Pennsylvania.
The men sleep on air mattresses in the four-bedroom home's finished basement, do chores such as cooking and play games ranging from ax-throwing to never-have-I-ever. They also meet Austin's friends, parents (Howard, a medical-device salesperson, and Lorraine, a Reiki master) and brother Tyler, who lives in Brooklyn. An older sister, Arielle, lives in Delray Beach, Florida, to where Sydney Austin is in the process of moving.
"I would say the weirdest thing was having to get really comfortable with people you just met," says Austin, who posts on Instagram as @foodieonthefork. "I wasn't used to getting up in the morning and going downstairs in my pajamas with no makeup on and my hair a mess and seeing someone that you just met yesterday," she says. "You're just thrown into your everyday life with someone you just met. So the only choice is to kind of be vulnerable and go with it."
Austin, who was raised in Smithtown, graduated in 2015 from Smithtown High School West before going on to earn a communications degree from SUNY Oneonta. She works remotely as a tech recruiter for the staffing firm SingleSprout, which she says gave her a week off to do the show.
And while she did find romance on it, that's not why she's moving to the Sunshine State. "Florida's always been a life goal of mine, to move there," she says. "I made a promise to myself that I would do it. So, no, no, no — not for a guy, just for myself."